19:44, Saturday, 31.10.2020
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Member of Parliament Brought Suit against Journalist

Chixraze_fiqriab.gifMP Beso Jugheli brought suit against Eka Kvesitadze, the journalist. The controversy between the journalist and MP originated from the article in the newspaper “24 Saati”. The article, “Jughelizm”, was published by Kvesitadze in the newspaper. The journalist criticized Jugheli’s statements he made on Radio Utsnobi and TV Imedi regarding the national minorities.

Here is a quote from the article that mostly irritated Jugheli: “Nobody has dared to make such anti-Armenian and disregarding, chauvinist and astonishing statements about other national minorities in Georgia for a long time,” Kvesitadze wrote in “24 Saati”.

Journalist: Mr. Beso, What was the reason of your argument with the journalist?

Beso Jugheli: Let me alone, people. Are not you tired? I will appeal to the court and you will understand everything.

-Have you already appealed to the court?

B. J. I will appeal, it is already settled.

-Could you tell us concrete reasons for the argument?

B. J. If you do not know why are you calling me then? If you know it, what are you asking me?

-Should journalists write articles without having received comments from both sides?

B. J. What are you going to ask me?

-You complain when we ask you for comments; but if we do not ask anything-you will get annoyed too-why we have not listened to you, how should we act? Could you tell us what is the suit about?

B. J. It is about slander.

-Have they published the phrase what you have not said in fact?

B. J. Of course, they have.

-Could you tell us the phrase or quote exactly?

B. J. Shall I tell you what they have published?

-I remember your statement on TV when you said: Has anybody ever written on the cradle of Mikirtumas (famous Armenian name, which the MP has supposedly used to make fun of Armenian people) and others that they should always live in a historical district?” …Was not there anything insulting in these words? 

B. J. Shall I tell you everything from the very beginning? She blamed me for having said that only Georgian people must live in historical districts and not Armenians, Azerbaijan people or Kurds. For that slander I appeal to the court. Mikirtuma has nothing to do with that, I am not bringing suit because of that word.”

Jugheli’s co-thinkers also condemned his statements regarding Mikirtumas on TV. Elene Tevdoradze, chairwoman of the Human Rights Committee of the Georgian Parliament said in her conversation with the Human Rights Center that the MP should be cautious about his/her statements: “I made a speech regarding the incident at the Parliamentary session, though I did not mention exact names. I said that any politician should be careful when making statements in public. Politician, particularly representative of the majority, is expected to be more considerable in statements than an ordinary citizen. Thus, my position is clear.”

Jugheli’s statements were not appreciated by parliamentary opposition either. Fikria Chikhradze, member of the “Rights Opposition”, said that Jugheli said incorrect phrases to protect the majority. “I have heard his TV statements. I am sure that he did not intend to make chauvinist statements but he had great desire to protect the majority. However, he made a slip to the phrase that might cause serious problem in Georgia. Politician and leader of the fraction should not have made similar statements. I remember him say- “it is not necessary that Mikirtuma lived in the district and house where he was born; Maybe Anzor wants to move into that house now.” People would certainly have accepted is as an anti-Armenian statement (because Mikirtuma is Armenian name). In this incident there is one point; Beso Jugheli was separating people on the basis of social ground and not on national grounds. He considered Mikirtuma to be a member of the low social layer, while Anzori belongs to higher society. Thus similar Anzors should settle in old districts. It was a mistake which should not have been made by a politician.”

As for journalist Eka Kvesetadze, she said is ready to accept the challenge of Jugheli and she is sure that people should bring a suit against Jugheli at the court because his statements encourage national outrage.

Eka Gulua

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